Capsulitis is inflammation of the capsular ligaments. These ligaments surround a joint and help to keep the two bones lined up so that the joint can function in its optimal range. If there is any stress placed on the joint from trauma, or abnormal biomechanical functioning the capsule will be affected before the bone.

Common Causes 

Activities which cause excessive bending of the toes such as:

  • Stooping while gardening
  • Constantly climbing ladders
  • Doing work low to the ground like electrical or plumbing work
  • Wearing high heeled shoes

Biomechanical - Collapsed transverse arch often cavus foot type with tight extensors.


Ongoing pain in the forefoot, probably not relating to any specific history of trauma.

Treatment for Capsulitis
  • Footwear modification – stiff soled shoes (no high heels).
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs  (Nurofen etc).
  • Forefoot padding.
  • RICE – rest, ice, compression & elevation.
  • Activity modification or reduction.
  • If biomechanics is a contributory cause – orthotics may be considered.
What can you do?
  • Stretching of the extensor tendons and calf muscles.
  • Intrinsic foot exercises to help restore transverse arch and decrease biomechanical load through the forefoot.
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